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WC Defense Work

Does anyone know a good way to market your firm for carriers koolcarlos03/09/17
Ive no advice but my firm is in a similar boat. I work as st associatex03/09/17
A large portion of my practice is WC defense. Obtaining inst mrtor03/10/17
Ultimately, if you're an associate, there is a little you ca mrtor03/10/17
WC is going more and more to in house staff counsel programs therover03/09/17
koolcarlos (Mar 9, 2017 - 7:51 pm)

Does anyone know a good way to market your firm for carriers, SIE's and TPA's for workers comp defense?

I'm in NY, and some time ago a major client of ours just pulled up its roots and reassigned all of our cases to comp-mill firms from Long Island (we didn't screw anything up, it appears to be just for $$$ saving reasons), leaving us big time in the red.

I've been networking through LinkedIn, going to meetings/conferences, and setting up seminars with our existing clients, but it's Just. Not. Getting. Better.

Any serious responses would be appreciated. I've already been denied a raise because of this.

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associatex (Mar 9, 2017 - 8:22 pm)

Ive no advice but my firm is in a similar boat. I work as staff counsel for a large ins carrier and while 90% of our work is first party auto (no fault), our partner has been trying to get some WC cases referred to us from outside firms. I think in your situation its all about the $$. Clients dont care about quality much these days, its all about saving a few pennies, relationships be damned.

Sucks. :-(

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mrtor (Mar 10, 2017 - 9:37 am)

A large portion of my practice is WC defense. Obtaining institutional clients is probably one of the toughest tasks in this profession. I hate to say it, but it really comes down to who you know and what connections they have. Professional networking has yielded few results for me. You need family and (real) friends in the right places. Those types of people trust you enough to refer you good business. Someone you schmooze with over drinks for a half hour at an event every other week doesn't enjoy the same degree of confidence. Some people are lucky enough to have friends and family who work as adjusters/managers. The rest of us must fight an uphill battle.

One strategy I have seen work (occasionally) is to obtain assignment as conflict counsel. It won't yield much in the near future, but if you exceed expectations on an assignment it just might result in more work flowing your way. You probably still need an "in" to get assigned as conflict counsel, but a remote networking connection may be willing to throw you in the mix since there isn't much at stake initially.

Another strategy is to poach talent or acquire a practice. You may be able to lure a disgruntled partner (with an institutional client) to join your practice if you offer the right incentives. You may also be able to recruit an attorney (with an institutional client) who is nearing retirement as "of counsel" to bring their business into your firm.

Finally, think politics. Our firm handles workers' compensation for the local city. Target smaller cities that do not do it in-house. Again, having an "in" is essential. If you do not, try volunteering on campaigns or attending events. Get to know the local politicians. Eventually you may be able to persuade them to issue a request for bids. That's your opportunity to seize the client.

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mrtor (Mar 10, 2017 - 9:43 am)

Ultimately, if you're an associate, there is a little you can do to save a sinking ship. Institutional clients will want to talk to the captain, not some deck hand (unless you have a very personal connection to said client). If the owner/partners are not already attracting new business, the firm is in crisis. This is not unusual though -- firms come and go. It's a natural cycle.

It sounds like it may be time to get off the ship.

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therover (Mar 9, 2017 - 10:26 pm)

WC is going more and more to in house staff counsel programs in my state. Save for conflict referrals.

I'd concentrate on smaller carriers.

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